More funding to boost adoption support

Monday December 23rd, 2019

£45 million boost to help adoptive families adjust to their new lives together
Thousands more children in care are set to benefit from stable, loving families following a £45 million boost to adoption services that offer music activities, play therapy and family support sessions.

The new multi-million pound package to pay for an additional year of the government’s landmark Adoption Support Fund is announced today by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson – making clear this new Government’s continued commitment to get more children out of the care system and into adoption.

The funding will reduce the number of children waiting for a permanent home and strengthen relationships with their adoptive parents, underlining the government’s manifesto pledge to prioritise adoption and give vulnerable children in the care system the best opportunity to thrive in adult life.
Since its launch in 2015, the Adoption Support Fund has grown every year and so far almost 50,000 families have benefitted from its services. Its expansion for an additional year follows the publication of data showing there are far more children waiting for a stable, loving home than there are adopters – a trend the Education Secretary has pledged to reverse.

Alongside this, more than £1 million will be provided for Regional Adoption Agencies, working with voluntary organisations around the country, to run recruitment campaigns in 2020 aimed at finding adoptive families for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) children. The latest data shows that of the 2,700 children waiting for adoption, almost 40 per cent have waited over 18 months – of these, 24% were from BAME backgrounds. The regional recruitment drives will have a particular focus on finding families for these children, as well as groups that the system has not previously prioritised, including siblings and older children, helping make sure there are enough adopters around the country and helping reverse the trend in data swiftly.

Many adopted children experience difficult and traumatic experiences before being adopted, which can prevent them from settling into their new home. The Adoption Support Fund will provide cognitive therapy, family support sessions and activities such as play and music to help children recover from earlier traumas, help enhance the attachment they feel to their new families and adjust to their new lives.
Total investment will reach nearly £200 million since 2015. The £45 million available for next year is more than double the original investment of £18 million, underlining the government’s determination to support adopters who are changing and transforming lives.

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